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Ireland: General O’Duffy’s Irish Brigade

Last modified: 2017-07-05 by rob raeside
Keywords: ireland | general o’duffy | irish brigade |
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General Eoin O’Duffy (1891-1944) organised an Irish Brigade to fight on General Franco’s side in the Spanish Civil War. It was part of the Foreign Legion. He intended an entire Brigade, but official disapproval meant that only one battalion (Spanish Bandera) reached Spain. It was not successful, and having contracted for six months’ service, starting in January 1937, General Franco did not renew the contract.

O’Duffy described his experiences in his book “Crusade in Spain” (Dublin: Browne & Nolan, 1938). On p. 92 he explains that “the official flag of the brigade” was “a red cross on a field of emerald green, bearing the inscription In Hoc Signo Vinces, from the banners of the brigades of former days”. This resembles illustration no. 92 in “Military flags of the world 1618-1900” by Terence White and Guido Rosignoli (Poole: Blandford Press, 1977), showing the standard of Col. Fitzjames’s Irish Regiment in the French service. In that flag, the motto is in gold lettering across the horizontal arm of the cross.

On p. 109 O’Duffy says the flag of the Bandera (the only one raised) was “An Irish wolfhound in saffron on a ground of emerald green”, and “in addition the four companies had each a pennant representing one of the four Irish provinces” (presumably depicting their arms). The Irish national flag was also displayed on formal occasions.

Kenneth Fraser, 19 June 2017


 
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